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Modern China Lecture Series featuring Eddy U – A New Approach to Studying the Chinese Intellectual

February 9, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Read the transcript of the event here.

Speaker: Eddy U, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Davis

No system of rule has objectified the intellectual as much as communist rule of the twentieth century. Communist regimes codified, identified, and governed part of the general population as intellectuals based on Marxist thought. This talk builds on my recently published book and illustrates how the “intellectual” (zhishifenzi) in China evolved from an obscure classification of people during the 1920s to embodied subjects locatable everywhere after the 1949 revolution. This transformation of the intellectual changed Chinese society, intensifying mass surveillance, political education, and other governing practices. My analytical approach moves the study of the intellectual in modern China into new terrains. I end with an interpretation of the current situation in Hong Kong.

Eddy U is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Davis. He grew up in Hong Kong and moved to the United States in the late 1980s. His book, Creating the Intellectual: Chinese Communism and the Rise of a Classification (UC Press, 2019), won the Barrington Moore Book Award given by the American Sociological Association.

Part of the Modern China Lecture Series

Presented via Zoom Webinar


February 9, 2021
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

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